OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The law enforcement policy task force met Tuesday afternoon to discuss their final draft of recommendations regarding reform for the Oklahoma City Police Department.
They cited several areas they’re recommending being worked on or outright changed stemming from dialogue they’ve had with police, the community and outreach groups. They cited two critical spots, however – de-escalation and accountability.
“Police can do better,” said Brian Maxey with 21CP Solutions, a company who helps communities transform the delivery of public services and has brought Oklahoma City these recommendations. “And in engaging with police, the police were also very clear that they thought they could do better.”
The discussion on police policy and reform reached a new height Tuesday afternoon in the meeting when the final draft of recommendations were revealed. Most of them have to do with “community policing.”
“Creating accountable, equitable community safety services is not a political issue,” Maxey said.
According to Maxey, a survey they sent out to Oklahoma City residents showed 94 percent approval for the recommendations. A more in-depth dive into the recommendations can be viewed on the city of Oklahoma City’s website.
Two of the main areas they focused on were de-escalation and accountability. Maxey said in their presentation that on paper, Oklahoma City police’s de-escalation policies are “strong.” He discussed recommendations for finding ways that the police could find ways to better understand and interact with communities on the streets. He also highlighted officer warnings when in certain hostile situations.
“If an officer has the ability to use force and it is safe and feasible, he should be providing a warning to whomever they’re going to use force on,” Maxey said.
Transparency and accountability were also on the docket. Maxey added that the city should allow a citizen’s advisory board, or CAB, to publicly report on its activities and recommendations concerning policing policies, procedures and rules.
“It opens the dialogue up for public examination,” Maxey said.
On top of that, the discussion involved a possible crisis intervention team, or CIT, to respond to mental health calls. There are also talks of potential pilot programs to get the whole thing started. However, for now, they’re still working through the kinks.
“There’s a lot of things that still need to be worked out,” said Ganesha Martin with 21CP Solutions.
Again, this is all still in the early stages and these final recommendations appear to be the starting point for implementation. This is where the company also says an implementation manager could be hired and designated to make sure it all stays moving forward.